This the the first in a series discussing the impact of the CARD Act of 2009 on gift cards.
1. Some bank issued gift cards were on the shelf with an expiration/valid thru date less than five years while others had an expiration/valid thru date greater than five years. This is allowed until January 31, 2011, see the ECO-Gift Card Act for more details.
2. Several MasterCard Gift Cards slots were empty. It appeared as though they were intentionally removed, not sold out.
3. A sign was posted mentioning the CARD Act of 2009. This is part of the extended disclosure requirements of H.R. 5502 aka the ECO-Gift Card Act and allows gift cards to be sold which do not have the specific disclosure requirements on the gift cards as set forth in the CARD Act of 2009.
One interesting note: according to the sign, there are certain one-time fees permitted under the CARD Act of 2009, such as "properly disclosed initial purchase fees, lost/stolen replacement card fees and cash-out fees".
For a detailed version of the sign, click on the image below.
Gift card buying tip for consumers:
When buying a bank issued gift card, check the expiration/valid thru date and make sure it is at least 5 years from your purchase date. While gift cards with valid thru dates under five years must be replace at no charge, it's still a hassle and you don't want your gift recipient to go through.